The CD VOICE is comprised of two distinct sets, Lifelines and Words of Our Own, performed by two different ensembles.
Music by Jason Kao Hwang
Poetry: Lester Afflick, Patricia Spears Jones and davida singer
Musicians: Deanna Relyea – voice, Piotr Michalowski – sopranino saxophone/bass clarinet with EDGE: Taylor Ho Bynum – cornet/flugelhorn, Andrew Drury – drum set, Ken Filiano – string bass, Jason Kao Hwang – violin
Words of Our Own
Music by Jason Kao Hwang
Poetry: Lester Afflick, Fay Chiang, Steve Dalachinsky, Patricia Spears Jones, Yuko Otomo
Musicians: Thomas Buckner – voice, Joe McPhee – tenor saxophone/pocket trumpet, William Parker – string bass, Sang Won Park - kayagum/ajeng/voice, Jason Kao Hwang – viola
There are voices that speak our thoughts, emotions and needs. They vibrate the air to deliver the contents. We speak and talk. We hear and listen. And there are other kinds of voices that are alive but mostly unheard. Some loud and intense, some soft, almost mute, all saying something that needs to be heard. Although heard by no one yet, they are de nitely and clearly there. A poet gives them actual voices using their instrument: words.
For the two ensembles on this album, violinist/composer Jason Kao Hwang chose poems that had personal resonance. “They felt like my voice speaking words of my own to express essences that I could not bring to consciousness before,” he says. “I also heard music in them. All the poems have an inherent and unique flow of rhythms, textures and colors that would challenge and engage music. Aware of this dynamic, I composed sonic spaces that allowed each poem to fully resonate.”
Into those sonic spaces, Hwang invited musicians and vocalists who -- like poets -- hear unheard music, alive and well, but not yet shared. Throughout each poem’s sonic architecture, vocalists Deanna Relyea and Thomas Buckner were empowered to improvise and make the poems their own.
Now, the voices, once unheard and impossible to reach, are here with us, welcoming us all to listen to them with open arms. Let us listen to them from every corner of our streets, memories and dreams. Here VOICE speaks to us in the most humble, personal and genuine timbres and tones, as we walk together or alone in this landscape called LIFE.
Jason Kao Hwang leads numerous ensembles, including his octet of Chinese and Western instruments (Burning Bridge), his quintet Sing House (violin/viola, trombone, piano, string bass, drum set), his trio Amygdala (violin/viola, gayageum, djembe/percussion) and a string orchestra, Spontaneous River. In 2012, National Public Radio selected Burning Bridge as one of the year’s Top albums and the Downbeat Critics’ Poll voted him “Rising Star for Violin.” As violinist, Mr. Hwang has collaborated with Zen Matsuura, Will Connell, Jr., Pauline Oliveros, William Parker, Anthony Braxton, Yoshiko Chuma and many others.
Mezzo soprano Deanna Relyea has appeared on the concert stage and with symphony orchestras in the Midwest region and throughout Canada. Deanna performs her one-woman cabaret show in many set- tings, most recently as guest artist at the Niagara-On-The-Lake Chamber Music Festival. She has previously collaborated with Hwang for the premiere performance of his “Lifelines” at John Zorn’s venue The Stone in New York City.
For more than 40 years, baritone Thomas Buckner has dedicated him- self to the world of new and improvised music. Buckner has collaborated with a host of new music composers and made solo appearances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, presenting a repertoire that includes more than 100 compositions, written for or dedicated to him. Buckner is featured on over 40 recordings, including six solo albums.